How My 999 Emergency Can Be a Good Business Lesson for You

So Monday night went a little differently than planned when we had to call 999 for Kenzie who had stopped breathing and was fitting – she’s absolutely fine thankfully and no lasting damage done, so 2 very relieved parents in the Walker house!

The treatment we received from the paramedics who turned up (fast response car and an ambulance) to the doctors and nurses at the hospital was perfect, we couldn’t have asked for better.

However, what you normally only hear in the press is the negatives to the NHS (and yes they do make mistakes, a lot of things can be improved from the number of beds available to more doctors, nurses and midwives and lots more), but they were perfect for us on Monday, as well as our previous ambulance trip with Kenzie and my pregnancy complications with Kenzie (can you see a pattern forming here involving Kenzie? 🙂 ), we couldn’t have asked for better service.

Now we will happily tell anyone about the fantastic treatment we got but it made me realise that from a business point of view, managing your reputation is essential if you do get bad press (and unfortunately, it can happen to us all as we can’t please everyone), so how can you reduce the impact this has on your business?

Get some great testimonials from happy customers
Getting testimonials should be an important part of your process when working with customers, regardless of the product or service that you offer.

If you see a physical product – include a thank you card in the package and ask them for their feedback.  If you have their email address, contact them a few days after sending out their order to check that they’ve received it and ask them for feedback as well.

If you offer a fixed term service (like a coaching or training programme), contact them halfway through to get them to talk about what it was like before working with you and then the results they’ve got so far.

If you offer an ongoing service (like a Virtual Assistant), contact them after the first 4 – 6 weeks to get them to tell you what it’s like working with you and the results you’ve helped them achieve.

Learn from your mistakes
When something goes wrong in your business, whether it’s behind the scenes or with your product or service, the most important thing to do is to make sure that you learn from the mistake to reduce the risk of it happening again.

Treat all feedback as a great resource
We all love getting fantastic feedback about our product or service, it makes us feel great and gives us a happy glow.  However, you should also feel great whenever you get bad feedback as it gives you a great opportunity to see if there’s anything you can do to make your business better.

It’s very easy to feel that a complaint is a personal attack on you, but it is so important that you remove any emotion from the situation and use it as the opportunity it is.

Work with the complaint to see if you need to change; do you need to change the product or service offering?  Does your customer support need improving?  Need some training?

Think about what you can do to reduce the likelihood of getting the same type of complaint again.

But also remember that you can’t please everyone, what you can do is offer a fantastic product or service to your ideal clients.

Your action plan
Take the time now to see where you can improve in your own business.

Think about:

  • Are you regularly collecting testimonials?
  • Look through your most recent complaints to see what you can do to reduce those types of complaints in the future